From Our Minister

Dedicated to educating our fellow members and greater community about how to help our Earth be healthier by living greener and healthier lives.

Oct 2017

From the Rev. Greg Ward:

Dear Friends,

Not long ago, I came across a picture that remains stuck in my mind. I found it on the internet and it showed a church with tape over the front doors and boards on the windows. In the foreground was the marquee that, for years, announced the weekly sermon. In that space was probably the most poignant and prophetic sermon title in years. Two sentences: “Gone out of business. Didn’t know what our business was.”

I wish I could say this picture is rare in the religious world. But it’s not. And I might be inclined to believe we’d be better off if a few more clueless or ill-intentioned churches went out of business. Except that the problem extends beyond churches. And beyond religion altogether.

The truth is, more and more people are shutting down, too. Closing shop. Going out of business. People who’ve lost touch with what their business is as human beings – unconscious of being part of an interdependent web of all life. And that lack of consciousness has led to personal, social, political, and environmental unrest.

The 21st century has a produced a disheartened world in need of a new path with heart. Courage is the theme for October.

‘Cour-age,’ is a ‘heart word.’ It comes from the French word, cour meaning heart. To bring heart to a struggle. And heart is just what we need for these times and the work before us.

As I’ve been listening to all kinds of stories from people who found their way to UUSM, there are two sides to almost every one: The love felt for the good people and the good things we can do together – and – the brokenheartedness of losing our way to the place of such promise we felt sure we were headed.

Over the years, I’ve made it my business to listen to people into their heart. To love people and en-cour-age them to climb out of stuckness. What people find in such important times is not to come bearing righteousness. It isn’t strength or power or reason that returns us to feeling part of what’s vital and sustaining. It’s heart.

It is my hope that we can awaken to the wisdom of George Bernard Shaw when he said, “The true joy in life is being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. It’s being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, and being a force [for the collective good] instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

UUSM is not going out of business. Not now. Not just when the world needs us. I see our business as learning to show up and live with heart. Even after living with a little broken-heartedness. Because what the world needs is people gifted with new heart. Good hearts. The kind that will open minds.

To the Glory of Life.
The Rev. Greg Ward